Benedict Option
Anyone ever hear of this? Thoughts?
I've given it a lot of thought since I heard of it and think that it's a bit utopian,although I'm very sympathetic to it.  I'm very much a fan of the monastic ideal,the old believers way of dropping out of society and of trying to figure out how to survive as an unwanted minority in the larger culture. 

One flaw with the Benedict Option is it seems to forget that during the Era of the early Benedictine monasteries the church hierarchy were basically orthodox even when the culture wasn't. Today the Roman Catholic Church has for the most part destroyed it's patrimony and credibility and has abysmal heterodox leadership at almost all levels.  This puts those wanting to "turn on,tune in and drop out" in a perilous position of having to either go it alone or be at the constant whim of the corrupt heterodox popes and bishops and the hostile secular culture.

The old believers have a precedent of being hounded by the Russian Orthodox Church after they wreckovated their rites. They had pretty much no support from the official Church and they have practically disappeared today.  There are a handful of them that either went info union with Rome or joined ROCOR but I think for the most part they are dying out.

All we can do is learn to stand on our own, finding meaning and spiritual sustenance where we can. We must build alliances in unlikely places, bury old grievances and creatively deal with being forced into a very precarious position.

I'm not sure if I answer what you want to hear, but it's what I think. 
I've heard of it. It sounds great for those who would be a part of it, and terrible for those who would be left to fend for themselves in a hellbound world.  I think there is a need for secluded traditional communities around the world who will pray together and preserve an authentic Catholic culture. There is also a need for people to go out to where people are who are not like them, and to share with them the beauty of the Church.
I find this sort of topic irresistible, to be honest, but I think that I see the analogy between our time and that of Benedict in a way that sets me apart from typical Ben Oppers. To put it simply, I agree with what formerbuddhist said above, and I think that if you read the excerpt by MacIntyre that appears at the beginning of Dreher's article, and just make ONE simple switch in your mind, you will see it my way: the Empire is the Catholic Church today, not the secular world. The communities that are being built along Benedictine lines are being built quietly as salvific islands, as modern monasteries inside of the Catholic Church, because the Catholic hierarchy itself is the problem. Thus, for me, the Benedictine Solution is much more of a personal decision of Catholics who decide to take their faith so seriously that they are willing to get off of the bus, and dedicate themselves to lives of prayer and work wherever they are. Most of these people are monastic in some way; most love the Divine Office, though they may pray an ancient edition all alone at home. Trad communities are the only communities for most of these people, myself included. Some of these communities, a bit like FE, are entirely virtual. Some are close enough to FSSP, SSPX, ICK, etc. communities and monasteries, but the physical proximity to an actual structure is, I think, irrelevant. Most modern Ben Oppers I think waste a bit too much time trying to convince people to leave the cities and head to the country, but I think this misses the essential point: what we need are communities of prayer, and these may be chapels in Chicago or Paris for all we know. It's not the countryside that makes the benedictine; it is the internal withdrawal.
I also like the excerpt by Newman quoted in the article. It reminded me of something. Benedict provided a Rule, and he provided Structure, Order. There are many Rules now, and it is easy to find them online. Maybe one day, hopefully soon, the various trad groups will get together a bit more, and more efficient instruction can be imparted to the laity, rules, and such. Civilization, that is Catholic civilization is being preserved inside of trad communities, including FE. I have said it before and I will say it again. Vox's Being Catholic section is an online gem, put together with tremedous attention to detail, all in one place. But here is a question: those monks copied and copied over and over the Bible. What should we be preserving for the future? Or do Trads all assume that there will be no future? I am thinking of the production of missals, and breviaries, and prayer books that do not cost an arm and a leg; little books with the writings of the Fathers of the Church. Many people are working on such projcects. Maybe we can as well. Building chapels, repairing abandoned churches, etc. What are we good at? I wish I had a head for coordination but I don't. The Trad world is doing well, but I think we could work together much better if we were more coordinated.
The main issue with being a traditionalist is the lack of community in many cases. Many of us travel to get to Mass, whether it's half an hour, an hour or even multiple hours. It isn't a situation where we're going to the church within town or near our house and everyone that goes to Mass with us lives a street or two away. Sure, some people are lucky enough to have that, but most aren't. There isn't the daily availability of Latin Mass, the ability to go to events and gathering during the week, etc. It's why communities are needed, although I think they'd make more sense if traditionalists were to somehow make these types of communities within cities or suburbs, not far away in the country.

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